Mario Villalobos

Grateful for the Little Things

For the past two months, I’ve been spending about five minutes every night writing three things I’ve been grateful for during the past day. At first, I wrote short sentences about some obvious things: writing, reading, working out, going to work, etc. But as this habit slowly grew into something I loved doing every night, my entries grew longer and more personal. Sometimes I would choose something so small and seemingly insignificant, but once the words came out, and I saw some meaning in the little thing I was grateful for, I really began to love this process. Even when I was having a bad day, or a bad week, I would force myself to find three things to be grateful for during the past day. This whole process has made me appreciate life much more than I’ve ever appreciated it. Every day consists of a series of small battles, and by focusing on the victories, the defeats don’t seem so bad, and in fact, fuel me to learn from them and be even better next time.

I was lying in bed listening to some music for a good ten minutes trying to figure out what to write about tonight, and I didn’t know. The past week has been full of events and things to write about, so I grew used to quickly getting started on my entries and writing something good enough to post. Tonight, though, has been tougher. The day was standard. No crises at work, nothing eventful happened in my personal life, and I’m lying in bed right now simply content with life and where things are going.

This week I tried something new: I broke down my days to the minute with events for me to do — from 5 AM, when I woke up to 8:30 PM, when I planned to fall asleep. Every hour in between had something scheduled, and for the most part, I followed it to the minute. I started transcribing the Great Gatsby once more, which I’m almost done with, and I cut back an hour of watching TV, even though I really wanted to cut it to two, but the stress from work this week depleted my will power. If things go better at work next week, I plan to be a bit more strict about my TV watching habits. I want to read more. My backlog of books and articles to read from the web is weighing heavily on my mind, and I want to get back to that. I also want to go back to increasing my English vocabulary, which is something I haven’t been pursuing as seriously as I used to. I still have to submit my taxes, even though it’s pretty much done. Instead of expecting a nice refund, it looks like I’ll be owing the Federal government some money. Fortunately, that amount is less than the refund I’m getting from Montana, so I’ll still come out a few hundred bucks richer, but it’s not the $1,200 or so I was hoping to get back. Serves me right for making so much money from three different jobs last year.

I hit 150 days a few days ago, and I didn’t mention that then. I knew I’d hit this target, and when I realized I hit it, I told just one person and that’s as much recognition I wanted. I’m not so concerned about my day count anymore. This blog has become my life, and I love writing in here every night. Not every entry is good or anything, but each entry has helped me grow in some way. If not into a better writer, but into a better person, and that’s something I’ll always be grateful for.